Royal Blood Bravely Beg "Pathetic" Festival Audience to Clap for Them

Big Jeb Bush energy

Photo: Tom Beard

BY Megan LaPierrePublished May 29, 2023

As much as music festivals offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for artists to share bills with beloved contemporaries and legends alike, it can be a little scary to be just a name in the endless undercard below the heavy-hitting headliners. Royal Blood know this struggle all too well.

The English rock duo's disgruntled reaction to the less-than-enthusiastic response they received at Radio 1's Big Weekend in Dundee's Camperdown Park yesterday (May 28) has now gone viral for exuding Jeb Bush energy. In the performance clip that has since made the rounds online, singer Mike Kerr called the indifferent crowd "pathetic."

"I guess I should actually introduce ourselves seeing as no one actually knows who we are," Kerr said at the beginning of the video, positing a very real possibility since Royal Blood were added to the bill after tickets to the annual event had already sold out. "We're called Royal Blood and this is rock music."

When his asking, "Who likes rock music?" treaded similarly tepid waters, receiving only a small cheer, Kerr retorted, "Nine people. Brilliant."

While the evening's headliners included mellow pop troubadours Lewis Capaldi and Niall Horan, it's worth noting that fellow purveyors of rock music, Wet Leg and Nothing but Thieves, were also included in the day's lineup.

"We're having to clap ourselves because that was so pathetic," Kerr remarked later in the set. He then turned to the camera and asked, "Will you clap for us? Will you clap? You're busy. Can you clap? Yes, even he's clapping. What does that say about you?"

After the final song of Royal Blood's set, the singer is seen tossing his guitar onto the stage floor and walking off with both middle fingers raised.
Did anything even happen if there wasn't Twitter discourse about it? Of course not, and Kerr's annoyance at not managing to win over the crowd has been met with mixed reactions. Among the worst are the dudes who rock, saying stuff like, "Proper music like this is dying nowadays. Kids haven't got a clue." Others — even some fans of Royal Blood's music — are baffled by the band's entitled temper tantrum and poor stagecraft.

It's been argued that concert etiquette has gone out the window amongst audiences, but some musicians could probably also stand to brush up on theirs.

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